This doesn’t happen often; mutual options are usually attached to contracts for the buyout, which allows a team to give a player a bit more guaranteed money without having to actual make the payout anytime soon. They’re hardly ever exercised, because how often is it that a team and a player are going to completely agree on what said player is worth a year or two ahead of time?
But today, lo and behold, a mutual option was exercised by both sides and setup man Matt Belisle will stay with the Rockies for $4.25 million.
Had the Rockies declined their half, they would have paid Belisle a $250,000 buyout. Belisle’s option was tacked on to a two-year, $8.125 million deal the two sides agreed to in Feb. 2012.
The 33-year-old Belisle went 5-7 with a 4.32 ERA in 73 innings of relief last season. He’s made at least 70 relief appearances and pitched at least 70 innings in four straight seasons, amassing a nifty 3.52 ERA during that time frame. It should be noted that his ERAs have increased three straight years, but since his peripherals were better last season than in 2012, it doesn’t look like a total free fall. The Rockies aren’t bringing back injured ex-closer Rafael Betancourt and they have no other relievers making significant cash, so they felt they could spend the $4 million to keep their durable setup guy around.